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Interview : Kimi Werner

Champion spearfisher & free diver.

issue two : from the water’s depth

This Hawaiian beauty is the embodiment of our theme: From the Water’s Depth. She grew up in a remote part of Maui – the second largest Hawaiian island – on its majestic coastline. The idealistic, “living-off-the-grid lifestyle” so many of us crave in today’s frantic world, was her reality. While we were learning to swim in swimming pools filled with chlorine, she learned to swim with the fishes, while her father was free diving to catch the family’s primary food source. 

 Credit: Jianca Lazarus
Image by Jianca Lazarus

It’s funny how our childhoods shape us, often unwittingly. Some of us grow up to go in the complete opposite direction to our upbringings, and others, like Kimi (and Bessie) grow up to find their paths have flowed back towards their histories. It was only as an adult, living on the island of Oahu, did Kimi come to understand her primal instincts for the ocean. 

Rooted in the lessons from her father -and her culture – she went on to become a certified culinary chef. Kimi is also an award-winning artist and renowned speaker. Her ability to merge her many talents like the flowing currents she knows so well is inspiring. She remains true to values and beliefs in everything she does, says and creates. Honestly and sustainably. Her online store Keep Wild Co showcases a range of Kimi’s designs. From jewellery to homeware as well as on-the-go items to make life a little easier sans single use items. All inspired by her beloved Hawaii.

And, yes…she still catches her own dinner.

Q: When did you start playing in the ocean?

When I was five years old and my dad would go hunting for food in the ocean, I would tag along with him.

Q: What skills did you have to acquire to become an free diver?

Comfort in the ocean. The ability to relax under pressure and to consciously slow myself down are the main skills I have developed. 

Q: What was it that drew you to free diving and spearfishing?

I feel completely present when I’m in the ocean as its constantly changing and always stimulating me. And I love being accountable for where my food comes from. 

Q: What has been the highlight of your diving/spearfishing career? 

Becoming the first woman and youngest person to be inducted into the Hawaii Spearfishing Free Diving hall of fame was an absolute highlight! But just being able to feed myself on a daily basis will forever be what I cherish the most. 

Q: What does untainted beauty mean to you? 

It represents true beauty that has not been tainted by shallow or dangerous standards often sold to us in society. 

Q: What are your personal beauty practices? 

I’m fairly simple when it comes to beauty practices/products. I like natural deodorants, Dr Bronner’s soaps and sometimes I put coconut oil in my hair. If I want my hair straighter I’ll comb it out when its wet and let it dry. If I want more body, I’ll let it dry and then brush it out. I like really hot showers but at the end of every shower I’ll turn the water extremely cold for my final rinse off. I feel that does something for my skin and it also smooths out my hair.

Some of our favourite items from Kimi’s brand, Keep Wild Co.

Click here to see our exclusive underwater editorial featuring Kimi Werner.

untainted |ˌənˈtān(t)əd| adjective
not contaminated, polluted, or tainted: the paper was untainted by age.

UNTAINTED is a directional beauty platform, pushing the boundaries of clean, sustainable beauty. We are inspired and motivated by the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-sabi.

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